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tonight on "nightline," from beyonce to jessica alba, celebrities are setting the gold standard for post-baby bodies. and for new moms, the pressure is on. why the rise of the mom-shells is causing serious backlash. animal house. "nightline" investigates. exclusive cell phone video of the defense personnel paid to keep americans safe in afghanistan, apparently drunk, stumbling and shirtless on the job. is this what your tax dollars are paying for? and, from beer to march mallows to lattes, inspiring a cult-like devotion. tis the season for the great pumpkin frenzy. what you're missing out on if you haven't caught the mania. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with
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terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," october 17th, 2012. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. these days in hollywood, the baby bump is one of the most photographed fashion accessories. and after the baby arrives, news celebrity moms flaunt their taught arms and tight abs. but does all this attention hold women to a new and impossible standard? that's what one young mother thinks. and she is fighting back. here's abc's juju chang. >> reporter: there's a new breed of mom on the play ground. just weeks after giving birth, she's back in skinny jeans and six-inch heels. dubbed mom-shes, they're a hybrid of mommies and bombshells. from gwyneth paltrow to beyonce. they seem to be everywhere. >> these women who have infected our minds and you think about them all the time. when you look in the mirror, you say, why don't i look like
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jennifer lopez, jessica alba? >> reporter: as the former editor of "us weekly," janice helped give birth to the mom-shell with the glossy body after baby spreads. you helped create this culture of baby bumps. >> this crazy shift happened where it was cool to be pregnant. you go out showing off your body after you have the baby and that was a way for the actresses to communicate to the world, i'm still sexy, i'm stick employable and you want to be like me. >> reporter: but not everyone can look like gisele, shortly after childbirth. it's a standard even some celebs can't live up to. like brice dallas howard, star of "the help." >> i drafted the sanitation initiative. >> the internet has been ruthless on her, calling her terrible names. it has to be incredibly painful. >> reporter: but now, alison tate is leading a populist backlash. >> i felt dumpy and doubty, frustrated. >> reporter: she had just given birth to her fourth chiltd when
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she did something many women do every day. resisted taking a picture with her son at a birthday party. >> my 5-year-old son, who came up, said, mommy, come be in the photo booth with me, and my first reaction was -- no. because i knew that i looked awkward and tired and, so, i didn't want to do it. >> reporter: she had a lot of reasons to be confident. she had an ivy league education, happily married with four beautiful kids. what was wrong here? >> even as i said no, i also thought, i need to just do this, because i have a 10-year-old. i know they don't ask you forever to be in pictures with them. >> reporter: she wrote a blog about the experience and suddenly, the moment became a movement. mom stays in the picture sparked a viral rallying cry. thousands of women submitted their own pictures, even if they didn't look their best. >> you're not looking at whether the mom is overweight or did her hair or makeup. all you see are moms and their kids and all the love.
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>> reporter: perhaps surprisingly, janice can empathize, too. she, too, gave birth 6 months ago to baby number three and struggled. was there a moment, postpartum, for you, where you thought, oh, my god, what have i done? >> every moment postpartum was -- it's sort of horrifying. afterwards, when the bump is gone, you're just kind of a fat lady and it's really harsh. >> reporter: her self-doubt inspired her to write a book to reassure real moms that looks can be deceiving. and celebrities go to sometimes unhealthy extremes to present a certain picture. >> we would have quotes from women, i cried, i work out so hard to lose this weight that i cry, that i don't eat, i'm always hungry. it's crazy things that celebrities do. >> reporter: in "how to look hot in a mini van," she shares what she's learned from hollywood without taking such drastic measures. >> statement necklace. keep the eye away from the rest of your body.
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let them focus on something else. >> reporter: see, your outfit looks done. do you think about it, that i've contributed to this? >> it played a part but i can't say we contributed to the meanness. motherhood and weight are the two most loaded issues for women ever. when you put those together, it's care seen on a fire and women get obsessed. >> reporter: one thing moms get obsessed with is other mom's weight gain. >> i've just had a lot of pressure on me, um, to lose the baby weight. >> reporter: jessica simpson has long been tabloid fodder but it reached fever pitch when she had her daughter, maxwell. she turned to harley passer the knack who helped her after the daisy duke period and is now helping to whip her back into shape. getting her body back has turned into a sponsored event. >> i knew weight watchers was the only way to go. >> reporter: but how about the people right now who are
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throwing things at the tv, who are like, fine, i can't afford harley, i can't have the shes and the cooks. who do i do it? >> the truth is, i tell my clients, the key is walking. you don't need a trainer. you don't need anything fancy to walk. >> reporter: harley says he wants to make it easier for moms, so, he created a video avatar so you can work out while the baby is napping. oh, my god. you're kicking my ass. a lot of people would say, you know, harley, you're responsible for making women feel bad, for not bouncing back right away. >> i would never make anyone feel bald about not bouncing back. i would be upset at someone for not taking care of their health. as a mom, you are setting an example for your child. >> reporter: for alison tate, the more important example is love and acceptance for your children and for yourself. >> our kids do not care what we look like. they only see their mother. and i just think that what women need to do is remember that you
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don't ruin their pictures. you complete them. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang in los angeles. >> all mothers are beautiful. thanks to juju for that. next up, we're going to bring you shocking cell phone video, people paid to protect americans overseas, apparently drunk and partying on the job. the exclusive investigation, next. ♪
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with terry moran. >> tonight, shocking behavior caught on tape. employees of a big u.s. defense contractor in afghanistan appearing extremely drunk, fumbling and shirtless, on the
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job. a cell phone video obtained exclusively by abc news is igniting outrage over a scene that looks more like a rowdy frat house than the operations center of a company paid to carry out u.s. policy overseas. abc's brian ross brings us this investigation. >> reporter: in a place where terrorists have and will attack, at any time, these are some of the men being paid by american taxpayers to help provide security for u.s. civilian personnel 24/7. the security manager for an american company scientific, with a $47 million contract from the pentagon, staggeringly drunk in the operations center. >> kevin. come on. >> reporter: this is the company's medical officer. wived out, stoned, after shooting up with narcotics. >> please snap out of it. >> reporter: and this is the
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company's top on-site executive, in front of a bonfire, where, according to former employees, live ammunition rounds were tossed into the flames. >> it was like a frat house for adults. >> reporter: the footage was provided to abc news by former employees john melson and kenny smith. and was this an every night thing like this? >> no, sir, it wasn't every night. it was every other night. >> like this! boom! nothing! boom! >> reporter: they say the video documents allegations in a lawsuit about what they claim was dangerous, illegal behavior that put american lives at risk. >> it was going against everything what we were trying to do over there and this arrogant image that americans have worldwide, this was feeding right into it. >> reporter: this all took place, they say, earlier this year in kabul, afghanistan, in a building just a few blocks away from the u.s. embassy. a command center for jorge
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scientific, hired under the u.s. legacy program to provide security and train afghan police in counter-insurgency and professional standard. >> it was like the opposite. instead of training the forces, they taught them americans can't be counted on. >> reporter: but the video shows behavior in sharp contrast to professional standards. and, to u.s. army rules and jorge's on corporate policy that there's supposed to be zero toll raps for alcohol or drug use. >> anybody who uses alcohol or drugs around armed weapons is putting themselves and others in tremendous amount of danger. >> reporter: this retired u.s. army general, now an abc news general, oversaw contractors when he served in iraq. and says in this case, it seems clear there was a failure of oversight by someone in the u.s. military. >> all the indications that i've seen so far would indicate that somebody missed something. >> reporter: the two former employees say this night was the
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final straw. as the country's security director, eric miller, engage in a drunken wrest. ing match that went on until the wee hours of the morning. drunk? >> direct. >> reporter: drinking what, vodka? >> vodka, yes, sir. >> reporter: could they have been possibly ready for an attack? >> no, sir. >> reporter: what were you thinking as you saw this? >> toe at ttal disbelief. >> reporter: miller told abc news what happened that night was not as bad as the video suggests. smith says the only way he knew to stop it was to get rid of the liquor. >> and i just took it upon myself to take it to the bathroom and pour it out. >> reporter: later, smith went to get help from the medic, kevin carlson. smith says he found him completely out of it, high from shooting up a narcotic called ketamine. something a shamed carlson has come forward to admit. >> you don't want to come up here looking like that.
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>> it was getting to be such a nightmare, just living in that place. i needed to get away. >> reporter: carlson, now living in germany, was fired by jorge scientific. he told abc news he wants the truth about what he calls massive drug and alcohol abuse at the contractor to come out, including his oinvolvement. >> if i try to hide what i did, it doesn't make me look very good anyway, so -- i'd rather just be honest about what happened. >> reporter: watchdog groups say the behavior over the years of some u.s. war contractors threatens to undercut u.s. efforts in iraq and afghanistan. this video was made three years ago in kabul, showing a wild party put on by a different set of contractors. in charge of security for the u.s. embassy. a video first exposed by the project on government oversight. >> we're relying more and more on contractors in afghanistan,
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as our troops are pulling out. these are the people that are left behind and are reflecting the united states. and it has got to be that there's more sense of oversight on the part of the military and the u.s. government to make sure these contractors are not actually undermining the diplomatic mission by their behavior. >> reporter: jorge scientific says it agrees, the behavior on that video was unacceptable and says it has fired our placed on leave all those involved. and, following questions from abc news, the u.s. army's criminal investigation division opened an investigation into what the video showed. and they might want to ask why, for months, authorities in the u.s. military did not seem to know it was going on. terry? >> outrageous, brian, thank you very much for that. and kudos to the whistle blowers there. just ahead, we will turn the page, lightning up. from doughnuts to coffee to beer. this year, everything's coming up pumpkin. we find out why pumpkin flavored products are causing such a craze.
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they're not just for jack o lanterns and pies anymore. this year, pumpkins are getting their moment in the spotlight. and from coffee to candles, even potato chips, the pumpkin is everywhere. people can't seem to get enough. we're pleased to welcome, for the first time to this broadcast, abc's darren rovell, with this "sign of the times." >> it's a great pumpkin. >> reporter: not science lie news pulled an all-nighter has there been this much anticipation over a gourd. this is the first pumpkin spice latte of the year. >> reporter: every fall, starbucks whips the nation into a frenzy. grown men and women, excited over a $4 foaming coffee? it's gotten so intense, there's even real bidding on ebay for the special pumpkin latte sauce. no, really.
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120 bucks for two jugs. and it's not just coffee. this year, there are so many new pumpkin products, you can fill a pumpkin patch. pumpkin march mallows. pumpkin pot tarts. even some pumpkin vodka to wash it all down. >> pumpkin muffins. >> reporter: dan is responsible. or, you might say, to blame, for helping to feed the pumpkin craze. the executive chef at dunkin' donuts even has a word for it. >> we're really going for that high level of pumpkin-ocity. >> reporter: what is that? i was invited into their secret test kitchen to do a little research. >> we have more pumpkin items than we have ever had. we added four new pumpkin menu items just this year alone. we started with just the donut and the munchkin, we added muffins. then we added a latte. pumpkin mocha, white chocolate. it goes on and on.
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>> reporter: it sure does. even at breweries like sam adams. >> and the harvest pumpkin, we have 17 pounds. >> reporter: per barrel. that's a lot. >> it's a lot. >> reporter: so much pumpkin, marketing experts say they've never seen anything like it. >> we've seen pumpkin mentions on chain menus up 38% over the last two years. we've never seen so many pumpkin offers in restaurants and in the grocery stores. >> reporter: an obsession for all things pumpkin. that may have very little to do with taste. after all, who thinks they're getting real pumpkin in a bag of march mall loechs or a latte? turns out marketing pumpkin is about selling a feeling, too. >> you know, the cool nights, the fires in the fireplace, all those sorts of things that are about the autumn. pumpkin is a big part of it and kind of signals the consumer that now it's time. you know, in some ways, the way we've made pumpkin into a character, right? the great pumpkin? >> there he is! there he is!
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>> reporter: and just like the great pumpkin, it comes along only for a limited time. >> halloween is over and i missed it! >> any time there's the perception of scarcity, consumers are going to go for it. >> reporter: luckily, for fanatics everywhere, there's no shortage of new ideas for squashing the market. pumpkin bringpringles, anyone? >> pumpkin is very likable. something very american about it. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm darren rovell in boston. >> well, thanks and welcome to darren. and thank you for watching abc news. we hope you check in for "good morning america." they're going to have the latest on that developing story of the this warted terror plot against the u.s. federal reserve here. we're always online at jimmy kimmel is up next. and we'll see you here tomorrow.
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